'Government needs to start properly funding local services again': Politicians unite in call for more council funding

Teesside’s Tory mayor says he will tell the new Prime Minister the time for cuts should end and will call for more government funding for Hartlepool and other councils.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Monday, 1st July 2019, 13:54 pm
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen in Hartlepool.

Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor, says it is time to start properly funding local services again after nine years of austerity.

Mr Houchen is supporting the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, Coun Shane Moore, who is demanding more support from Central Government.

Hartlepool Borough Council Leader Councillor Shane Moore. Picture by Frank Reid

Councillor Moore says he has had positive talks with Tees Valley council leaders and Mr Houchen about the development of an action plan to help fight for more funding.

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Speaking after Hartlepool’s MP Mike Hill challenged the Prime Minister about Universal Credit and the number of food banks in Hartlepool, Coun Moore said: “This isn’t the time to be talking about food banks in our town, what we really need to be doing is calling for more money from Central Government in the upcoming spending review.

“The Government has claimed austerity is coming to an end so we need to make sure they prove this is the case and it is my job now – working alongside Mike Hill – to ensure Hartlepool is represented with as powerful a voice as it can be to ensure we get what we need.

“As Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, Mike Hill and I now have regular meetings scheduled and I’m looking forward to working with him to ensure there are people in our corner fighting for the needs of our town.”

The council’s funding from the Government is now about £44.2m less than in 2010/11 – a reduction of 57%.

The deficit for this financial year was almost £6million.

Mr Houchen said: “I absolutely support Coun Shane Moore’s call for more funding for Hartlepool council. After nine years of austerity our national finances are in a much better place, so government needs to start properly funding local services again.

“Once a new Prime Minister and Government is in place next month, I’ll be straight down to London to ask for more money for all Tees Valley local authorities.”